The Religious Sources Of Islamic Terrorism
Shmuel Bar

Islamic fundamentalist — there is no separation between the political and
the religious. Islam is, in essence, both religion and regime (din wa-dawla)
and no area of human activity is outside its remit. Be the nature of the problem as it may, “Islam is the solution.”
The underlying element in the radical Islamist worldview is ahistoric and
dichotomist: Perfection lies in the ways of the Prophet and the events of his
time; therefore, religious innovations, philosophical relativism, and intellectual or political pluralism are anathema. In such a worldview, there can exist
only two camps — Dar al-Islam (“The House of Islam” — i.e., the Muslim
countries) and Dar al-Harp (“The House of War” — i.e., countries ruled by
any regime but Islam) — which are pitted against each other until the final
victory of Islam. These concepts are carried to their extreme conclusion by
the radicals; however, they have deep roots in mainstream Islam.
While the trigger for “Islamic awakening” was frequently the meeting
with the West, Islamic-motivated rebellions against colonial powers rarely
involved individuals from other Muslim countries or broke out of the confines of the territories over which they were fighting. Until the t. 9 8os, most
fundamentalist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan
Muslimun) were inward-looking; Western superiority was viewed as the
result of Muslims having forsaken the teachings of the Prophet. Therefore,
the remedy was, first, “re-Islamization” of Muslim society and restoration of
an Islamic government, based on Islamic law (shari’ah). In this context,
jihad was aimed mainly against “apostate” Muslim governments and societies, while the historic offensive jihad of the Muslim world against the infidels was put in abeyance (at least until the restoration of the caliphate).
Until the 19 8os, attempts to mobilize Muslims all over the world for a
jihad in one area of the world (Palestine, Kashmir) were unsuccessful. The
Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a watershed event, as it revived the concept of participation in jihad to evict an “infidel” occupier from a Muslim
country as a “personal duty” (lard ‘ein) for every capable Muslim. The basis
of this duty derives from the “irreversibility” of Islamic identity both for
individual Muslims (thus, capital punishment for “apostates” —
Salman Rushdie) and for Muslim territories. Therefore, any land
(Afghanistan, Palestine, Kashmir, Chechnya, Spain) that had once been
under the sway of Islamic law may not revert to control by any other law. In
such a case, it becomes the “personal duty” of all Muslims in the land to
fight a jihad to liberate it.l If they do not succeed, it becomes incumbent on:

I “If the disbelievers occupy a territory belonging to the Meshing it is incumbent upon the Muslims to
drive them out, and to restore the land back to themselves; Spain bad been a Muslim territory for more
than eight hundred years, before it was captured by the Christians. they Ii.e., the Christians literally, and
practically wiped out the whole Muslim population. And 1101.4, it is our duty to restore Muslim rule to
this land of ours. The whole of India, including Kashmir, Hyderabad, Assam, Nepal, Burma, Behar, and
junagadh was once a Muslim territory. But we lost this vast territory, and it fell into the hands of the disbelievers simply because we abandoned jihad. And Palestine, as is well-known, is currently under the
occupation of the Jews. Even our First Qibla, Bait-ul-Mugaddas is under their illegal possession.”
— Jihaael ul-Kuffaari coal-Munaafigeen.

The Religious Sources Of Islamic Terrorism
Shmuel Bar

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